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Probe Opened into Former Zugdidi Mayor’s Corruption Charges

The Georgian State Security Service said in a brief statement on September 13 that it has opened an investigation under article 338 of the criminal code of Georgia, bribe-taking, to look into allegations against former Zugdidi Mayor, Lasha Gogia, of the ruling Georgian Dream party.

The allegations are based on an audio recording disseminated by media outlets, where a Georgian businessman accuses Gogia of corruption.

Lasha Gogia posted a notice of his resignation on his Facebook page on September 12. His deputy, Gia Gulordava also followed the suit.

In a statement released on September 13, the ruling Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia party said that “the investigation will answer all questions and respective legal decisions will be made.”

“The investigation has been opened and we should not violate the presumption of innocence. However, the decision on resignation made by the mayor and his deputy was correct,” Tbilisi Mayor and the ruling party’s Secretary General, Kakha Kaladze said.

Lasha Gogia, whose candidacy was endorsed by the ruling party, was elected as Mayor of Zugdidi during the 2017 local elections.

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